The New England Patriots played their most complete game of the season against the visiting Atlanta Falcons. The defending world champions controlled the Super Bowl LI rematch almost from the get-go and were able to jump to a 23-0 lead thanks to an efficient offensive performance and a defense that has far exceeded its expectations.
New England ultimately won the game 23-7 to improve its record to 5-2. With all that in mind, let's take a look at this week's game ball candidates:
Candidate: CB Johnson Bademosi
The Patriots were playing one of the NFL's most talented offenses without two of their top three cornerbacks. With both Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe out due to injury, New England turned to its depth players – among them Johnson Bademosi. The first-year Patriot answered the call and delivered a very good performance. He was stout against both the rush and the pass, displayed strong tackling and also recovered the blocked field goal in the first half. Overall, Bademosi led the way for the pass defense's best game of the year.
Candidate: RB Dion Lewis
The Patriots made a clear effort to establish their running game early in the contest as all four of the primary backs saw considerable snaps. The best of the bunch was Dion Lewis, who displayed his trademark elusiveness, quickness and speed once again. The 27-year old finished with 76 yards on 13 carries while also adding a 6-yard catch and 14-yard kickoff return. And while he did not find the end zone, Lewis played a big role and his running was one of the reasons why the Patriots were able to play the game on their terms.
Candidate: LB Kyle Van Noy
The Patriots' secondary played well and so did the defensive front, with Kyle Van Noy being the busiest of the bunch. The 26-year old finished with a team-leading seven tackles, took over the defensive leadership after Dont'a Hightower left the game due to an injury and made one of the contest's biggest plays: Van Noy perfectly read the Falcons' jet sweep on 4th and goal and tackled Taylor Gabriel for a loss of five yards. In short: Van Noy had another very good game.
With all that in mind, who is your choice for this week's game ball?
Who gets this week's Patriots game ball?
This poll is closed
CB Johnson Bademosi
RB Dion Lewis
LB Kyle Van Noy
Other (name in comments)